The Sense of an Ending
The story of a man coming to terms with the mutable past, Julian Barnes's new novel is laced with his trademark precision, dexterity and insight. It is the work of one of the world's most distinguished writers.
Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they navigated the girl drought of gawky adolescence together, trading in af...more
I would probably have passed this book by were it not for Michael Wood's review, titled 'Stupidly English', in the LRB Vol. 33, number 18. I tend to imagine your Austers, Rushdies, Franzens and Barneses of the publishing world aren't short of readers and don't need me added to those legions. However, if 'The Sense of an Ending' is anything to go by, the greater loss is certainly mine, and I'm grateful Wood's review drew me to Barnes's Booker winner.
On the face of things, 'The Sense o...more
First of all, let’s get something straight. I don’t believe people should be judged too harshly for behavior they exhibited in adolescence. That’s not to say that people are not responsible for actions they committed in their youth; it just means that their actions as teenagers do not necessarily reflect the kind of people they will become as adults. So my problem with Tony Webster isn’t that he was an asshole in high school. In fact, I’d probably be a bit hyp...more
I think my years as a philosophy student were actually detrimental to my enjoyment of this short novel about life and memory. The stuff that has left other people reeling in amazement reminded me of little more than just another essay on the mind and the way we think, the way we interpret events and the way our memories can let us down. Mr Barnes is clearly a clever man and his writing is a touch complex but always charming. However, is this really that original anymore?
I don't think so. I can...more
I was browsing in a B&N sitting out a winter storm in Lincoln, Nebraska and ran across of stack of The Sense of an Ending with BOOKER PRIZE WINNER blazoned across the front of the book. I dug through the stack of third printings and there near the bottom was one book with BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE on the cover. Well it is sort of cosmic for a collector such as I to find one first American edition in the...more
Julian Barnes' The Sense of an Ending has a lot packed in the short 150 or so pages.
Memory and history, responsibility and blame, deceit, misunderstandings, aging, guilt, remorse - and, of course, a safely passive coasting on the smooth sailing surface of life, occasionally interrupted by the tidal waves of unexpected upheavals and disturbances, just like Severn Bore, seen once by Tony Webster and Veronica.
"We live with such easy assumptions, don’t we? For instance, that memory equals events p...more
"The Sense of an Ending" is the story of a retired aged man looking at childhood friendships and a significant college girlfriend against the back drop of his middle aged divorce. At each turn he f...more
It opens with six images (an unexpected word in several of them makes them more vivid), each of which form part of the story:
“I remember, in no particular order:
- a shiny inner wrist;
- steam rising from a wet sink as a frying pan is laughingly tossed into it;
- gouts of sperm circling a plughole, be...more
Barnes' novel (or novella) is very short--only 160 pages. You will easily be able to read it in one sitting. The book has generated much discussion on blogs--and apparently, in book...more
That said, it was a pretty decent book. It follows a very simple formula of...more
Well, I don’t know. Where I come from that would not exactly be a riveting conversation starter. Julian Barnes posits that question early in this book, to start that ticking in our heads, and to count the measure of time. Yet, what an odd sentence, what a curious choice of anthropomorphic adjective. We might ask what could be more certain than a second-hand. But it’s not certain, merely plausible. It only appears so. History is that certainty p...more
The whole narrative of the book is just so typical, and, therefore, boring...more
It recalls to mind,Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach: both books dealing with remorse,failed relationship & the sexual dynamics of a particular period in time,but TSoaE is far superior work of fiction.
Julian Barnes is adept at describing the quirks & sexual awkwardness...more
(The following paragraph may contain spoilers) As to the possible answers to the questions raised...more
But ultimately, the plot is a gimmick! I don't understand how this won the Booker Prize.
What the heck did Tony ever do to anyone except send a crappy letter to an ex-girlfrien...more
”The less time there remains in your life, the less y...more
I was really looking forward to reading Julian Barnes’ “The Sense of an Ending”. I wish that I could say that I really enjoyed having read it.
I was midway through the somewhat slight one-hundred-and-fifty-page novel when Barnes won the Man Booker Prize on October 18th. I was presumptuous enough to conjecture that my high expectations and early positive reactions sent just the vibes Barnes needed to sway the judges. Good thing I wasn’t further along in the book.
The more I read, th...more
Sense of an Ending has me thinking and will probably do so for some time to come. It may be where I am in life, not that I’m old but I am at the point where I have lots to look back on. A book like this makes me examine choices I’ve made, people I’ve known, and secrets I’ve kept. Perhaps it’s best not to dwell too much but certainly even at a l...more
And then, there is that small grain of doubt. Are we remembering things the way they were, or the way we wished they had been? In our recollections, we surely appear kinder, smarter, younger, thinner and better looking. And we never did anything deliberately cruel... did we?
This is a lovely, lovely book, pack...more
|Senior Citizens ??!!: **OCTOBER 2013** The Sense of an Ending *Discussion* Leader is Lexy Avey||57||22||Nov 09, 2013 04:40PM|
|Meaning of a sentence in "The sense of an Ending"||4||214||Oct 31, 2013 01:37PM|
|Indian Bookworms: The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes - October Monthly Fiction Challenge||60||58||Oct 16, 2013 07:47PM|
|What do people think of the ending? (SPOILER ALERT)||36||1910||Sep 21, 2013 10:28PM|
Following an education at the City of London School...more